Jesus is called both Man and God but what does the Bible mean when it declares the deity of Christ? What Scriptures support the fact that Jesus is truly God?
What is a Deity?
In the secular definition of a deity, it can be a supernatural being whose attributes are sinless, divine, holy, whose name is sacred and to be revered. Mythological deities were thought to have powers far beyond human abilities and were able to transcend natural laws and means. The difference between mythological deities and that of God are that mythological deities interacted with humans in ways and means that were sometimes counterproductive and acted with selfish intents and motives like Ares, the god of war or Vulcan who was feared because of the destructive tendencies displayed in nature.
The Word became Flesh
There are cults out there today that claim the name of Jesus as Savior yet teach that He was a created being but if they are worshiping Christ, isn’t that idolatry since we are only to worship God and Him alone (Ex 20:4-6)? The fact is that Jesus is both God and Man. Some false religions teach that man can become God but Christianity teaches that God became Man in the incarnation of Jesus Christ who took on flesh to become Man and lived a sinless life to be able to become the Savior of mankind for those who would repent and trust in Him. Matthew quotes Isaiah 9:14 in 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” The name Emmanuel means “God with us” and this is what John wrote in 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” and anyone that knows their Bible understands that the Word is Jesus Christ. Paul writes to Timothy that “He was manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim 3:16). Zechariah prophesied that “when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (Zech 12:10) and that they did at Calvary when they crucified Jesus Christ.
The Deity of Jesus Christ
Isaiah wrote about the coming Son of God Who would die for the sins of the world (Isaiah 53) in Isaiah 9:6 he writes “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God.” Can it be any clearer than that? He is the Mighty God. The child was born in Bethlehem which speaks of His humanity but then the Son is given, speaking of the Son of God Who gave His life as a propitiation (or satisfaction) for our sins. The disciple Thomas acknowledged Him as “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Christians today are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Here Jesus is called “our great God and Savior” so it is clear that Jesus is God and “in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Col 1:19) and “in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col 2:9). Stephen called Him Lord during his death (Acts 7:59) and dying “he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60).
Jesus is God
The name Lord and Jesus are placed together frequently in Scriptures (1 Cor 16:23). Only God can be called the Creator (John 1:3; Col 1:16), only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:5-10; Col 3:13), only God can judge the world (Acts 10:42; 17:31; 1 Cor 5:10), only God can possesses divine attributes like omnipresence (Eph 4:10; Heb 1:3), only God can be omniscient (Rev 2:23), only God can is omnipotent (Matt 28:18) and immutable (Heb 13:8) and since Jesus is mentioned in all of these verses, He must of necessity be God. Since all of these Scriptures are referring to Jesus and all are divine attributes of God we must conclude the truthfulness of Jesus’ deity or all of these Scriptures are wrong. Jesus as God has always lived. When Jesus said “Before Abraham was I AM” the Jews wanted to stone Him because they understood that this was the sacred name of God (John 8:58) that was used in the Old Testament Exodus (Ex 3:14).
God Became Man
Paul writes to the church at Philippi telling them and by extension, telling us to “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:5-7). Here we read that Jesus, being God from all eternity (John 1:1) became flesh, “being born in the likeness of men” and had to empty himself, and even though He was God, He “did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped” and He did so for the purpose of being a servant to us. The greatest servitude of His was dying for us who deserved God’s wrath (John 3:36b) since we were His enemies and wicked sinners (Rom 5:8, 10) granting us the ability to have peace with God (Rom 5:1). And “we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Rom 5:9) and this “one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men” (Rom 5:18).
Since we know that we cannot pay for our own sins, we are in big trouble because the blood of sacrifices could never take away sins (Heb 10:4, 11). It takes a God-sized sacrifice to take away the eternal wages of sin that we have all earned (Rom 6:23) which is why God so loved this world that He sent and gave His only unique Son to die for us (John 3:16) so that we might have the same righteousness as Christ does (2 Cor 5:21) because no unclean or impure person can ever enter heaven (Eph 5:5; Rev 21:27). If you have repented of your sins, confessed them and forsaken them, and then placed your trust in Christ as your Savior, then you have been justified and can inherit eternal life. Jesus is coming again and He will be only one of two Person’s for you in that day; He will be your Savior or He will be your Judge (Rev 20:12-15). Today, you must decide, while there is still time, what He will be to you (2 Cor 6:2).
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon